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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Don't Sweat It! Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest is Here

South Florida has a reputation as a hot spot -- in more ways than one. It's July -- not only
is that summer sun hot, there can be enough humidity to make for a challenging hair day, and some of those storms seem to come out of nowhere. With Summer in full gear, escapes to the beaches and breezes cool it off during the day, while the nightlife sizzles. Sounds like a perfect time for a beerfest! And, it is. The Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest is back for its fifth year on July 22 indoors at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center. No matter what Mother Nature doles out, there's no need to sweat it, because this is one hot fest that stays cool and dry. Check out the preview story from last year, which was my fourth year attending this fest.




2016 Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest


Last year, for the first time, the fest ran in two sessions -- one in the afternoon and one in the evening -- to accommodate crowds and in response to guest comments. The format proved to be popular, and fest organizers brought it back again this year. Take your pick of an afternoon from 12-3:30pm or an evening from 5:30-9pm. A VIP option, with an hour early entry, is available for each session. General admission features a 5 oz. sampling mug for unlimited beer samplings. The VIP ticket adds special releases and a voucher for an entree at one of the ten food trucks of the Food Truck Invasion. Live music will be provided on the main stage by Beyond Blonde in the afternoon, and The People Upstairs in the evening. Toss the beanbag on the cornhole boards, or grab some headphones and move around in the Silent Disco -- it's not like anyone's watching. For last year's first double session, the crowds were manageable, and moving around the indoor venue was a breeze.

Once again, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Little Smiles, a nonprofit that helps deliver support, fun, events, wishes, and even food, to kids with life-threatening medical conditions.

No matter what your beverage of choice, the fest offers a tastebud experience. Bourbon/whiskey tasting returns again, with The Hillbilly Bourbon Tasting Experience. Looking for wine? Head to the Wine Tasting area. In addition to the sampling, a cash bar with full pours of liquor, wine and beer, along with soda, will also be available. And, there are a few new features for this year, says Jennifer Cartwright, Director of Marketing & Events for the fest organizer, Alpha Media. A craft ice cream tasting station will offer flavors such as Brown Butter Praline, Roasted Coffee Caramel, Peach Fried Pie, and Blueberry Lemon. Donuts will also be paired with craft beer. 

Yes, this is a beerfest after all, so what about the beer? The fest features over 200 craft beers from more than 40 local, regional and national breweries. A large Florida contingent will be in the house, with many South Florida favorites, such as Tequesta Brewing, Twisted Trunk Brewing, Wynwood Brewing, Native Brewing, SaltWater Brewery, Funky Buddha Brewery, Due South Brewing, Barrel of Monks Brewing, Accomplice Brewery & Ciderworks, Ookapow Brewing, Devour Brewing, Bangin' Banjo Brewing, Sailfish Brewing, Islamorada Beer Company, and more. 


Crew at Due South Brewing


Photo with SaltWater Brewery!

So much fun the first time: Due South Brewing
Always a popular table: Funky Buddha

Not only is there some great beer coming out of South Florida, those brewery guys are always fun!

South Florida always makes for a good beertrip, and if you're from out of the area, there are a number of breweries in Palm Beach and Broward Counties to visit before or after Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest, especially if you're making a long weekend trip. 

Set your Google map for the South Florida Fairgrounds, located at 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach. 

The forecast for July 22 looks pretty cool and hot all the way around -- depending on which way you look at it. 

Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest has been a mid-summer tradition for this writer since the fest began. I'm four-for-four so far. And, rain? fuhgetaboutit. You won't need a rain poncho while sampling beers at this fest! 

Cheers!

Til next time,




Linda 







Linda Johnson
Certified Cicerone®

(event photos by Linda Johnson)


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